September 2nd, 2009
08:44 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Concerns over H1N1 virus on the rise

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/02/art.swine.gi.jpg caption="The number of Americans who are worried about the H1N1 flu has more than doubled since May, according to a new national poll."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The number of Americans who are worried about the H1N1 flu has more than doubled since May, according to a new national poll. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning also indicates that most Americans have confidence in the government's ability to prevent a nationwide epidemic.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned say they are worried that they or someone in their immediate family will get the H1N1 flu, with 17 percent suggesting they were concerned but not anymore and 44 percent saying they've never been worried. That 39 percent who say they are worried is more than double the 17 percent who felt the same way in May.

"Back in May, concerns about the flu were ebbing because flu season in the U.S. was nearing its end," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But the flu didn't go away - it just moved to other places around the world. Now a new flu season is starting, and worries about H1N1 are back."

According to the poll, 59 percent are confident that the federal government can prevent a nationwide epidemic, with four in 10 not optimistic.

"That doesn't mean that the public thinks that the fight against the H1N1 flu will be easy - two-thirds of all adult Americans say they want to get a H1N1 flu shot if one is available, but only half think there will be enough vaccine to go around," adds Holland.

The two-thirds who say they would get a vaccine shot if one is available compares to the 53 percent who told a Gallup poll in 1976, the last time swine flu posed a serious threat, that they would get a swine flu shot.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: Swine Flu
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. A. Goodwin

    What does this have to do with politics?

    September 2, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    And heaven forbid President Obama didn't make time to address this issue ALSO! The lemmings on this board were tee-hee-heing a couple of days ago when Barack was pointing out things to do to stay protected from this virus, but had he NOT gone public with it they would've crucified him for 'dereliction of duty'.

    September 2, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. Roger

    Good ol America. What was once the home of the Brave and Free is now those who are enslaved by perceived fear.

    September 2, 2009 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. Parnell Godfrey

    Uh oh, looks like the seniors will be asked to sacrifice once again so the younger people can live...

    September 2, 2009 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. plow

    Its all GW's fault

    September 2, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. Obama and his on-the-job training.

    Let's all pray to God (go ahead and post hate against me for praying – Libs) that Obama and his hapless crew can do a better job with preparing for the flu than he has been able to handle cash for clunkers, Afganistan, Healthcare reform etc.

    His on-the-job training will kill us all !

    September 2, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. rr

    Fears on the increase? Has Joe Biden been speaking on H1N1 again?

    September 2, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    Polls, polls, polls....

    The only things of relevance that polls measure are

    1) how successfully Republican charlatans and jackals are twisting reality in their effort to trick a minority of Americans, and

    2) how badly Democratic leaders are failing to deal with real problems and potential crises by allowing half-truths and lies to distort the truth about what needs to be done.

    September 2, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  9. D. Tree

    Since so many people are concerned about swine flu, and all the other drug-resistant viruses, maybe its time we got SERIOUS about reforming the meat industry: STOP over medicating these animals, its going to kill us all in the end!

    I would lie to see CNN running some stories about why we have strong viruses like H1N1 – come on people, its because of all the antibiotics being fed to animals!

    September 2, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  10. ran

    This is a great example how universal non-profit health care would more easily provide the care the people need.

    Greed has prevented us from having the health care we deserve;but now with the Democrats/President Obama/us we will get there.

    Demand from your elected officials universal non-profit health care.

    September 2, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. let's be real

    All we can really do is take the proper precautions to stay safe. Shots can only go so far, but for some it may be worth it. However, as long as there are irresponsible people out there who don't take care of themselves or lack any manners, there will always be room for any sickness to spread. I've seen a lot of people who don't cover their mouths when they cough. It's disturbing, but what can you do?

    People care too much about their work than their health, and that's another reason why sickness spreads... when you go out there sick you run the risk of spreading your germs to other people. Let's be more responsible about how we conduct ourselves, people... people should see it like this: cover your mouth when you cough, because as much as people don't want your germs you wouldn't want their germs either, correct?

    September 2, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. phoenix86

    No worries. Obama is on the case and telling everyone "just wash your hands".

    September 2, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. Markybhoy

    This hysteria over this "pandemic" is so far beyond ridiculous that it is almost comical. You are buying into this fear hook, line and sinker. As for the vaccine that is going to be forced on us, when you have very respected neurologists that the white house contacted saying that they would never take it, I think we should step back and critically think this through. The government is risking a repeat of 1976. Thimerisol, squalene and other adjuvants need to be discussed. The company making the vaccine, Baxter, has a less than stellar past drenched in scandal.

    September 2, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. rob

    oh Big Pharma strikes agian

    September 2, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Peace

    "Americans have confidence in the government's ability to prevent a nationwide epidemic".
    Here is where/when the logic should be applied. If Americans are confident of the government to tackle the H1N1 epidemic, why shouldn't they be confident to the Health Care Reform the government is proposing to them!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. This is all because......

    Obama failed us on delivery of the flu vaccine "ON TIME." It's late.

    How are we to trust Obama on healthcare if he can't even deliver a flu vaccine on time???????

    September 2, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. David J. Phillips

    Thanks CNN. Polls are so much more entertaining than actual reporting. Especially in life and death matters such as serious disease.

    September 2, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. "Victim" - Often Used, Rarely True

    39% are worried? Perhaps that's due to your recent story on H1N1, projecting that as many as 40% of the US population may be infected this flu season.

    Now, if I may ask whay the word "may" is used in any of your stories? You shouldn't be in the business of printing hypothetical situations. That's called speculation, and there is no room for it in a reputable news source. It's journalism 101 and it's sad you don't hold yourselves up to, at least, that standard.

    September 2, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. TCM

    because of the threat of swine flu, I encourage each parent in the US, to make this weekend a 4 day weekend. Keep your child home on 8 Sep. That way, it'll give the virus a 4 day span to diminish, and reduce the probability of your child catching it...no school on Tuesday , 8 Sep !

    September 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. Stuffit

    Simply a result of the fear mongering of the left. Watch out, without government health care you will die, watch out, global warming will kill us all, watch out, the Republicans want to take away your Medicare, watch out, if we don't get cap and trade passed, we won't have any green jobs. Watch out, we have to pass the stimulus or unemployment will go above 8%.

    Watch out, if you don't take a stand against the radicals in charge now, your wallet will be empty and all of your freedoms GONE. Check S.773 for just one example.

    September 2, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. Tom Versus

    Although I'm not a US citizen, I am confident the government can handle this. We've been well prepared and forewarned of this, and it's still *only* a flu virus.

    September 2, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Gary

    As a country we need to improve our lifestyles: no smoking, 8 hours of sleep per night, exercise, vegaterain diet, multivitamin plus extra C, drink tea, Omega 3 fatty acids, exercise 4 times per week and keep the BMI in the normal range. This is the best way to defend against all illnesses.

    Given our fat, sedentary, lazy population - I hope that they are making lots of Tamiflu.

    September 2, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. I Can See Argentina from my Front Porch

    Yes, I will admit I am VERY concerned about this swine flu. I know 2 neighbors that have developed the H1N1 symptoms within the past 2 weeks.
    But I have already prepared my family by stocking up on flu season supplies, like hand sanitizers, non-latex gloves and anti-bacterial cleaning supplies.
    But I am not confident in the governments handling of any potential epidemic. Moreover, I am not confident that many in the general public will handle a major epidemic in a sensible manner.

    September 2, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Bret

    Perhaps more Americans should be concerned about how they are being raped by the giant financial companies and Wall Street. If they are looking towards the government to protect them from the flu they are seriously kidding themselves. The government has already given the large pharma companies "liability waivers" should their rush to create enough vaccine start killing people.

    September 2, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Michigan

    Why is trhere so much worry about this? From all accounts swine flu is no worse than regular flu, it's not like smallpox or something. The vast majority who get it recover just fine.

    September 2, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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